Andres Iniesta Praises Victor Valdes, Isaac Cuenca Returns for FC Barcelona

Isaac AsanteCorrespondent IIJanuary 21, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 05:  Victor Valdes of FC Barcelona looks on from the bench prior to the UEFA Champions League Group G match between FC Barcelona and SL Benfica at Nou Camp on December 5, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Victor Valdes’ decision not to renew his contract with FC Barcelona came as a surprise for many, but Andres Iniesta believes the goalkeeper should be given all the applause he deserves.

Valdes recently refused to extend his contract past June 2014. Yet, in view of his deep relationship with the club in which he was a regular starter, the news ostensibly came as a shock to many fans of Los Cules.

Nevertheless, club mate and midfielder Andres Iniesta has affirmed that the goalkeeper’s decision needed to be respected without any condemnation.

“When there is a player as good as Valdés, who has performed so well at this club, the only thing you can do is keep applauding and supporting him,” Iniesta was quoted saying by the club’s official website on Monday.

The Spanish central player also praised the goalie for his massive contribution to the club’s success over the years—declaring that Barca could not have reached their current status without Valdes’ impact.

He started here ten years ago and came up through the youth ranks at Barca. He has worked hard to become an unquestionable starter. 

He has gone through difficult times and has overcome them. He has won five Zamora Trophies. I do not think Barca’s titles can be understood without him.

Meanwhile, Barcelona face yet another challenge midweek when they face Malaga away from home in the second leg of their quarterfinals encounter in the Copa del Rey.

The good news ahead of that fixture, though, is that Isaac Cuenca has been declared fully fit to perform on Thursday (per the club's official website). The forward joined David Villa and 23 other first-team players on Monday morning to train at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

Malaga enters the second leg of their Copa del Rey matchup with a slight advantage, having managed a 2-2 draw at Barcelona’s Camp Nou on Jan. 16.